If hiring were just about who had the best experience to do the job, employers wouldn’t need to conduct interviews — they could just look at resumes and make a hire. But obviously it doesn’t work that way, because other factors matter too, things like what kind of person you are, your communication skills, how smart you are, how motivated you are to do the job, and so forth. And that’s why cover letters matter, particularly in a sea of qualified applicants.
But the painful reality is that people really mess up their cover letters. They don’t send one at all, or they waste it by summarizing their resume, or they send the same letter to every job they apply for, or oh so many other mistakes. Over at U.S. News & World Report today, I talk about the eight most common mistakes I see on cover letters. You can read it here.